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Sun Opens Up on NAS

As part of its OpenSolaris initiative, Sun said today it's opening up the source code for a number of its NAS technologies. (See Sun Thumps Storage-Server Hybrid, Sun Signals Say 'Storage', and Sun Optimizes Solaris 10.) These include the ZFS file system, Double Parity RAIDZ data protection code, and the parallel NFS, which lets users separate data and metadata.

Sun is also opening up Solaris code related to iSCSI device drivers, QLogic Fibre Channel HBA drivers, and Java implementations of the RPC and NFS protocols. (See Survey: SAN Extension on the Rise, 10-Gig iSCSI SANs Set for Takeoff, RPC Vendor Files Suit, Qlogic Boasts Performance, and HP Ships QLogic Products.)

The idea here is to link other vendors' technologies with Sun's own offerings, giving its own sales a boost in the process. "We're creating a community that will enable developers and ISVs to take [and integrate] hardware from any vendor," says Amy O'Connor, Sun's senior director of storage marketing. Likely candidates are HP, IBM, and Dell, she adds.

The vendor is currently jostling for position in the NAS marketplace with vendors such as NetApp and Microsoft, which offers an iSCSI target within its Unified Data Storage Server. (See NetApp Ships Data Ontap GX, and NetApp's GX Targets HPC.)

Sun has spent the last year trying to make sense of its storage business after spending $4.1 billion to acquire StorageTek. (See Sun to Acquire StorageTek for $4.1B, Sun Returns to Profitability, and Sun Reveals Roadmap.) Even as it works to get its product mix right, the vendor last month shuffled the management of its storage division. (See Sun Reshuffles Storage... Again, Sun Takes Action Amidst Concerns, Sun's Canepa Goes Extreme, and Sun Names Storage Boss.)

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